Stefanie Schaffer sustained severe injuries while vacationing with her family in the Bahamas two years ago. Their fun boating excursion turned into a horrific scene when the boat they were on exploded. Shaffer was found under the wreckage with severe injuries to her brain, spinal cord and legs. Doctors were forced to amputate both lower limbs and she lost so much blood that her organs began to shut down.
Schaffer was airlifted from Nassau to South Florida and treated at Broward Health Hospital. She spent over a month at the hospital in a medically induced coma and received countless lifesaving blood and platelet transfusions. Details of the incident remain vague, but Schaffer does recall the pain she felt after coming out of a coma and the importance of blood transfusions in helping to treat some of her injuries.
“I felt like I broke every bone there was to break. I had lost so much blood that my kidneys had died. It took about four months to get out of kidney failure with the help of dialysis and blood transfusions,” said Schaffer.
“It felt like a nightmare”
Schaffer’s road to recovery was traumatic, painful and often mentally taxing—especially after nearly 40 surgeries. During her two-month recovery, she learned the magnitude of her injuries. Accepting that she lost her lower limbs was the most difficult news to hear, followed by the possibility that she would never walk again.
“I wondered at times when the bad news was going to stop. It felt like a nightmare and I couldn’t really picture life. There is a time where you don’t see any hope,” said Schaffer.
Hope Restored Through Everyday Heroes
Today Schaffer’s hope has been restored and she walks with the assistance of crutches and prosthetics. She is thankful to all the individuals involved in her lifesaving care – from her medical team, to loved ones and selfless blood donors – she’s determined to show them that their efforts were worthwhile.
“So much has gone into saving my life. I can’t let these people down. I have to do everything I can. They saved my life, so they deserve to see what I am capable of,” said Schaffer.
Lifechanging injuries can happen at any moment. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, and only generous blood donors can help to ensure hospital shelves are stocked with the lifesaving blood products patients need. Right now, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for all blood types. Be a hero to patients requiring lifesaving blood today.
If you are feeling well, please make an appointment to give by using the Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
BLOOD DONATION DURING COVID-19
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arrival and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control public guidance.
Donors can save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
In most states, individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
WONDER WOMAN 1984 Fans Can Win a Movie Prop Replica Prize Set
The Red Cross invites WONDER WOMAN 1984 fans and donors to give blood, platelets and AB Elite plasma by July 31 and automatically be entered for a chance to win an epic WONDER WOMAN 1984 movie prop replica prize set, featuring The Golden Lasso and a pair of Gauntlets, identical to the ones worn by WONDER WOMAN.*
*Terms and conditions apply. Valid email address is required. Limit five (5) entries per presenting donor. Winner will be selected and notified via the email listed in their American Red Cross donor profile on or around Aug. 10, 2020. Offer is non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. Void where prohibited. Giveaway begins July 1, 2020 and ends July 31, 2020. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries are not responsible for the promotion, administration or execution of this Giveaway.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
Find a drive and schedule a blood donation appointment today.